In Italy, the death toll among doctors from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, reached the grim milestone of 100 on Thursday.

“The latest victim was a 62-year-old woman who was a family doctor in Mira, a town in the Venice province,’’ doctors’ association Fnomceo said.

Italy has been overwhelmed by the deadliest coronavirus epidemic in the world, and medical staff in and outside hospitals have been left facing it without adequate protection like gloves and masks.

Fnomceo President Filippo Anelli said in a statement that each victim has left a deep scar on the skin and on the heart of each Italian doctor.

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“The organisational shortcomings and omissions are difficult to understand and even more difficult to justify in the light of these tragic numbers,’’ Anelli added.

On Saturday, Carlo Palermo, head of the Anaao Assomed doctors’ trade union, had spoken of around 120 COVID-19 deaths among medical staff, including 80 doctors and 40 nurses and care workers.

As of Wednesday, Italy had reported almost 140,000 novel coronavirus infections, with almost 10 per cent of cases, 13,522, concerning medical staff.   (dpa/NAN)